In search of the Mekong blues

Research output: Non-traditional research outputDigital or Visual products


Ex ABC "In this feature, Virginia Madsen goes in search of Cambodia's great musical traditions and find them against all the odds surviving on the streets and in the slums of Phnom Penh. We meet the remarkable Kong Nai, the 'Ray Charles of Cambodia' and one of few surviving masters of the chapei, which is both a musical instrument (an ancient two stringed guitar unique to Cambodia) and a style of music that sounds remarkably like the American Delta blues. The New York Times recently described Phnom Penh as 'the next Prague', rising from the ashes of thirty years of war and conflict. But such descriptions gloss the everyday reality and it's easy to forget the terrible Khmer Rouge years when one in four Cambodians died and a rich culture was almost extinguished forever". Recorded by Virginia Madsen in Cambodia and written and produced by Virginia Madsen in Australia. Commissioned by the ABC. Exec Producer Robyn Ravlich for "Into the Music", Radio National. Duration 50 minutes.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherABC Radio National
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • radio documentary
  • radio feature
  • music of Cambodia


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